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Waking up in Lost Hills is "Rip Van Winkle" with un poco de español at ASU

Zarco Guerrero as Old Victorio in the ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre production of Waking Up in Lost Hills: A Central California Rip Van Winkle Story.

Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy Herberger College of Fine Arts

March 07, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - The ghosts of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, roosters running amuck and rousing norteño music set the stage for a story about a town reawakening when ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre presents Waking up in Lost Hills: A Central California Rip Van Winkle Story, March 31-April 9.

Los Angeles-based playwright José Cruz González, familiar to Valley audiences for his Childsplay productions Tomás and the Library Lady Old Jake's Skirts Salt and Pepper and The Highest Heaven, adapted the story of "Rip Van Winkle" for the play - which reveals the struggles of the small rural California community of Lost Hills. Victorio Valenzuela, an almond farm worker who has just awakened from a 37-year sleep, meets a traveler who has just awakened from a car wreck.   Together they must rescue themselves, their families and the town.

"I grew up in a farming community much like Lost Hills," said González. "It many ways, this project was a return to my own roots."

Lost Hills residents were among the original cast and crew when the play premiered in their town in 2004.

"José wrote the play for Cornerstone Theatre Company in collaboration with the residents of Lost Hills in a process known as community-based devising," said Linda Essig, artistic director and chair of the School of Theatre and Film. "This is the first time that a Cornerstone devised community-based project has received a second production."

Mesa, Ariz. resident Zarco Guerrero plays Old Victorio. He is joined by ASU student actors and several children and teens from the community. Michael Archuleta, a well-known Los Angeles singer and band leader, composed the original music for the play and is teaching songs to the student performers as an artist-in-residence in the School of Theatre and Film. Herberger College theatre professor Pamela Sterling directs.

Appropriate for ages 10 and up, Waking Up in Lost Hills is a magical, inspirational tale of a community's rediscovery and the people who made it happen.

Tickets for Waking up in Lost Hills are $5-$20 and available online at or through the Herberger College Box Office, 480-965-6447.   Show times are 7:30 p.m., March 31 and April 1, 7, 8; and 2 p.m., April 1, 2, and 9; at the Galvin Playhouse in the Nelson Fine Arts Center, southeast corner of 10 th Street and Mill Ave.

The Herberger College School of Theatre and Film production program moves the art of theatre into the future with student production opportunities; curricula; and professional productions that enrich the cultural life of the university, the community and the region. For more information, go to .

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay